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Friday, April 22, 2011

Wild Fires on the Early Texas Frontier

No Author Given

Parched prairies covered with grass as dry as wheat straw at harvest time has recalled to many old-timers in West Texas the prairie fires which once were the most dreaded scourge of the cattle country. When the Panhandle was comprised of big cattle ranches without highways or plowed fields, a Winter like the one just past would have called for constant watching by range riders for that tiny puff of smoke which might be followed a moment later by a sweeping blaze difficult to control.

Those who lived in this area in 1900 remember the one blaze which jumped the Canadian River from the north and burned to the vicinity of Groom before being controlled. The wind, they said, was high and fitful, whipping first one direction and then another, lifting embers across the wide sandy bed of the river to new footholds in the tall grass. Mrs. Carolyn Deason Timmons, of Amarillo, who has interviewed many pioneer ranchers on the subject, said the methods used to fight prairie fires were pretty much the same throughout the plains country.

"Go and fight," Mrs. Timmons said, "was the law of the range. The law was the same for men and women, and even children who were large enough to help. When a blaze was sighted every one who saw it went directly to it and began fighting with whatever they had, even their clothing. The grass had to be saved, Life for the cattle depended on the grass and the life of the people depended on the cattle." When a large enough force had assembled, Mrs. Timmons said, a cow or a horse was killed and pieces of hide were stripped off for flails. A fence post was used to spread the animals legs and flatten the carcass, then two or more cowboys would fasten ropes to the carcass and drag it along the line of the blaze. Only shod horses were placed inside the burned area. Men with flails followed to beat out any remaining sparks.

Backfires also were started along streams, ravines and roads where workers kept the blaze under control until it started its sweep in the direction of the uncontrolled conflagration. Food and rest meant nothing until the fire was controlled.

Those fires often covered a wide territory, moving at a pace of 25 miles an hour, or little short of wind velocity. One fire which started in new Mexico swept the prairie to the very outskirts of Canyon, near Amarillo. In 1899, according to Mrs. Timmons, a fire which started between Amarillo and Canyon burned everything in its path until it was near Goodnight, cutting a wide swath for 50 miles in less than two hours.

An occasional grass fire still may cause considerable loss in the ranch country but the cry of "Fire! The prairie is on fire!" doesn't mean what it did before there were numerous highways and thousands of upturned acres.


"One of the most magnificent sights that a pioneer saw (in Falls County, Texas) was that of the prairie grass on fire and the cattle running, trying to get to the bottom or timber land. I have seen the flames leap over them and keep traveling. It would only singe their hair. The settlers all plowed around the outside of their rail fences as a protection from prairie grass fires. When the fire hit the plowed earth it would die out, and in this way the farmers protected the crops.

"The hardest work our slaves ever did was fighting fire one Sunday afternoon. I happened to notice the flames going to the sky a mile away, and aroused my father from his sleep. The earth had not been plowed around our fields and father was very excited, as the fire travels so rapidly. He and the men set fire to the grass around our fences and whipped it back with brush brooms before the fire. The grass around the fences was shorter than the prairie grass. When the rolling prairie fire met the burnt grass two hours later it died out. The women helped by carrying water to the men, who were almost exhausted by the heat.

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For more on this subject see:

"Texas Prairie Fires" - Click here
"Fighting Prairie Fires on the Plains in the Early Days" - Click here
"Early Day Prairie Fires in the Panhandle" - Click here

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Very early Burnet County, TX History and Genealogy

No Author given on this very early description of the origins of Burnet County, TX

THE BURNET CITY Line Demonstration Club voted unanimously that the following, recently read by one of their members, be published for the benefit of school children:

The long gone days of sparsely settled country, great. distances, horseback, ox wagon and lumbering stagecoach transportation made those great strips of country then designated as counties extremely cumbersome as governmental units; consequently, as the population began to increase, part of two or more of those counties were often made into another county—hence came our Burnet County from Bell, Williamson and Travis counties—named for David G. Burnet of Texas history fame.

Our county was created in February P452, the Texas Almanac states that it was organized in 1858. Records show that all county officers were elected in 1852. Those first county officers were: Judge, John Scott, Clerk, A. G. Horne; Treasurer, S. E. Holland: assessor collector, Wm. D. Reed; District clerk, and Justice of Peace. Geo. Joy; Sheriff, J. C. Bradley; commissioners, Wm. T. Cheeser and John Jennings, Sr. Not until 1912 did Burnet county have its first woman to hold an office when Miss Myra Erwin (later Mrs. Prank Atkinson) was elected county treasurer. The area of any county is 974 square miles; its present population is guessed by good authorities, to be between eleven and twelve thousand. The assessed valuation for 1934 was $5,191,580. Burnet, the county seat, had its origin in 1849 when old Fort Crogan was established a few hundreds yards west of the present town site. Fort Crogan was first established at Holland Springs three miles south of Burnet hut because of objections raised by the few settlers of that place it was moved. When established Burnet was known as the town of Hamilton. Just when the name was changed seems to be somewhat obscure.

It is a matter of record' that when the county was organized the people became divided into two bitter factious. One faction contended to put the county seat east of the divide on Oat Meal creek; the other faction led by Peter Kerr, Sam Holland and Logan Vandiver, fought to keep it at Burnet. Peter Kerr donated 100 acres of the John Hamilton survey, to the commissioner's court in order to induce the majority to vote for the present county seat.

At that time. Logan Vandiver and Peter Kerr owned or controlled the surveys upon which the town of Burnet and surrounding territory stands. Most of the town lots within the present city limits were conveyed by Kerr and Vandiver, Vandiver being Kerr's agent and attorney. I failed to learn whether or not those two men remained a part of Burnet until their deaths. Pew or our Burnet school children know that in 1861 or 1862 there was left a will by Peter Kerr donating 6,500 acres of land and about $24,000 worth of notes for the establishment of their free school; however the aftermath of the Civil War disrupted the will and nothing was left to it except the block upon which their present school buildings now stand.

The first marriage license was issued in 1852 to S. E. Holland and Miss Mary Scott, daughter of the first Judge. Their only child was the first born in the county and is still living, being in his 83rd year. Records show that S. E. Holland was in all probability the first permanent settler of this immediate section, he having settled at old Holland Springs three miles south of Burnet during the late 40's.

From the earliest pioneer days, even on up into the 1890's corn and wheat were ground for bread and feed stuff by old water mills situated in widely separated sections of the county. Among those old mills were Gabriel mill situated just across the county line from Mahomet, old Smithwick Mill, old Cedar Mill and the historic old Mormon Mill, so named from the fact that in the very early days a colony of Mormons settled in those lower reaches of Hamilton creek.

The coming of the telephone, automobile and highways discontinued a number of post offices over the county. I may stand for correction, but I am under the impression that at one time or another a post office was located at Sunny Lane, Joppa, Mahomet, Sage, Striekling, Tamega, Naruna, Smithwick and several other places. In early days mail was received once a week, often only once a month.

With the coming of the railroad in 1882—1883 Burnet became a terminal for most parts of Llano, Mason and San Saba counties and points north and south. With the extension of the road to Marble Falls and Llano the superiority was lost.

The county courthouse was burned in 1873 (f) In 1875 our present courthouse was completed. At that time th e jail was also in the courthouse being situated where the assessor-collector's office is now situated. Our present jail was built in 1884.

All settlements were made near some stream or Spring of everlasting water. All pioneer homes were built of logs or of native stones. In fact, numerous until the 1880’s. A log cabin situated on Cow Creek in the southeastern portion of the county, and still standing, is said to have been the first house built within the county. Smithwick Mill, Mormon Mill, Cedar Mill, Council Creek, Cow Creek, Spicewood Springs, and Holland Springs and other creeks and springs are among the pioneer settlements. Smithwick is the only one of these old settlements preserved in history. Years ago a daughter of Noah Smithwick, founder, came from California, gathered authentic data and later wrote the history while her father was yet living at a very advanced age.

The few days in which I had allotted to prepare this paper prohibited my gathering data as to when old,Gabriel Mill village was moved over the line to its present site—now Bertram—or as to the founding of Marble Falls, the building of the factory and of its old toll bridge.

Praise should be given Dr. Neyron Cheatham for his patriotic act in gathering and preserving many of the relics of Burnet county in his museum which will become a sort of shrine to our natives.
In the 50's came the forefathers of our present day—Magills, Frys, Corkers Stewarts, Kincheloes, Williams, Breazeales, Jennings, Covingtons, Bitticks, Lewis, Moores, Smiths, Vaughns, Fields, Johnsons, McCoys, Halls, Jacksons, Coxes, Aters, Dorbandts, Malones, Lacys, McCartys, Pankeys, Laforges, Bartons, McFarlands, Rountrees and others that I cannot recall just now. About 1852 came Judge Woodard, just a little later came Gen. Adam R. Johnson who became the father of Marble Falls.
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These are only a few rambling comments bearing upon some of the high points of our county history. There is a history connected with each, and every pioneer community—their origin, their pioneer settlers, their achievements in the face of great adversities. Each old mill site, each old gin site has a story all its own. It would take many pages to chronicle Indian depredations, Civil war days, Reconstruction days, . Our Granite Mountain, our days of outlawry and political turbulence, our Ichthyol Deposit, our Graphite mine, our Longhorn Cavern, and our other bountiful natural resources along with the story of our flora and our fauna would make a written volume—and soon, the interesting story of our latest achievement—the building of Buchanan Dam.

The editor of the Bulletin has read with' great interest the short sketch of the history of Burnet County prepared by a member and read before a recent meeting of the Burnet City Line Demonstration Club, and which is published in this issue of the paper. I am almost an old-timer myself and knew personally only two of the officers that were elected in 1852—S. E. Holland, Treasurer, and John Jennings, County Commissioner; all the others I know by reputation. With my father, I have gone to Mormon Mill to have our wheat ground into flour. I remember when post offices were at Sunny Lane, Joppa, Mahomet, Sage, Strickling, Tamega, Naruna, and Smithwick. I remember when the railroad reached Burnet. Major Ray Wingren of this place was born on that night and it is no trouble for him to remember the Date. I can recall the first time I ever tried to talk over a telephone; I was as skittish about it as a locoed mule, and when the answer came back to me I jumped ten feet high and called for help. I have been inside the first log cabin, on Cow Creek, built in Burnet County. I have known descendants of every name mentioned as the forefathers of the county, and knew some of the patriarchs themselves, notably Uncle Peter and Johnnie Fry, M. H. Corker, B. II. and C. C. Stewart; L. C. Kincheloe was my grandfather; I knew .Jeff, Harrison, and Clint Breazeale, and.lohn, Dr Dick, and Flem Jennings, A..1. Covington, who died only a short time ago in Wyoming, Capt. T. D. were first cousins, Dr. Field, Uncle Vaughan, whose wife and my father Hugh McCoy, Capt. Dorbandt, father of Chris. Dorbandt, Uncle Alex La- Forge, John Pankey, Alex and Poinsett Barton, Dr. Jack and King Mc- Farland, Judge J. T. Woodard and Gen. A. R. Johnson. I perhaps knew some of the others mentioned but they passed on before I was old enough to remember. Some of the old-timers will recall that my grandfather Chamberlain, sometime in the sixties, was the first man to build and run a cotton gin in what was then called West Texas. It was on what is highway 29, between Burnet and Bertram. At the time it was built., it was probably the only gin in all the state west of Round Rock. I do not know how others feel about it, but I get a great kick out of articles published concerning old times in Burnet County. I got strung out and cam e near forgetting the correction I was going to make in the article that inspired these remarks. It was about old Gabriel Mills village being moved to Bertram. It was the town of South Gabriel that was moved a distance of two or three miles to Bertram which was built after the railroad calve. South Gabriel was south of Bertram some two or three miles, situated upon the Burnet-Austin road.


For more early Burnet County Texas History see:
Burnet County Hills Reveal Hidden treasure
Explosion at Burnet Mill
Pioneer Days in Burnet County

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More rare and very early LLANO CO. genealogy

Part 2, The Old Macedonia Baptist Church

The pastors of the Macedonia church were Rev. Joseph Bird, 1880-81; Elder R. J. McNeil, 1881-82; Rev. J. F. Hillyer, 1882-83; Rev. Joseph Bird part of the time 1883 and 1884; W. B. Harmon preached some about this time for the church and also, Rev. E. K. Branch. In the autumn of 1884, the church called Rev. G. W. Johnson as pastor. Rev. C. B. Hollis was pastor during the year of 1886 and 1887. Rev. W. B. Harmon was called as pastor March, 1887, and served as pastor until July 1890. Rev. G. W. A. Latham was chosen pastor July, 1890 and served the church until August, 1891, when Rev. C. M. Hornburg was elected as pastor and served until October 1892, when Rev. J. N. Marshall was called as pastor and served for one year, November 1893. Then Rev. G. W. A. Latham was called as pastor again and served until December 1894. Rev. J. C. Dodges was called to the care of the church December, 1894, and he and Rev. G. W. A. Latham were pastors of the church until 1898, when Rev. Latham moved to New Mexico. Rev. Jay Dodgen was the pastor until August, 1899, when Macedonia church was dissolved by mutual consent, as so many of the members had moved away or united with other churches. J. V. Latham was elected church clerk August 1890. He was clerk for about two years. J. C. Hardin was moderator and church clerk pro tem often. Ed Hardin was the church clerk when the church disbanded in September, 1899.

Rev. J. C. Dodgen Many were the happy days that we spent at that old church and school-house with our grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and sweethearts. We would go in wagons and on horseback and take our dinners, good old chicken and hog meat. G. W. A. Latham, Hick L. Tate and Ben M. Gibson always made the coffer, regular cowboy coffee and it was good and strong, and that was the kind that Uncle George Latham always liked. Mr. and Mrs. Hick Tate were not members of the Macedonia church, but lived in that community and always did their part generously in everything. Mrs. Hick Tate was Miss Fannie Latham, a daughter of Wm. Latham, but was reared by her grandfather, Dr. V. G. Latham, in Rolla, Mo. She came to Texas with her father and grandfather in 1875, and her brother V. G. Latham, Jr. Mrs. B. M. Gibson was a daughter of William Latham. She, too, came to Texas with the Latham immigrants in 1875. I can remember what a thrill we children got when we saw the immigrants coming. There must have been about twenty covered wagons and some hacks and buggies.

My father had just had this house built and it was new and on a hill. We had not moved into it and we were living in a log house, but when we saw the wagons coming around the field, mother took all of us up to the new house on the hill and the immigrants drove around on the flat back of the house with their wagons and teams, great big old Missouri horses. We had been accustomed to the Texas cow pony. My father bought all that we had in Austin, sixty miles away. He bought cloth by the bolt and I think that four of us little sisters all had on a calico dress off the same bolt of calico, but my oldest sister, Annie, had traded a dress off this bolt of cloth to our cousin, Millie Green, for a ready-made dress, and our cousins from Missouri thought that it was a right stylish looking dress for one who lived so far out on the frontier. But those were good old days, when the grass grew green up around the door and the cattle and horses grazed on it. And there were no wire fences nor bank robbers. I have seen my father put a blanket down on the floor and pour out hundreds of dollars and count it out. I suppose he would bring it from Austin for himself and his neighbors. When brother Jim Latham was about ten or twelve years old my father sent him to Mr. Sam Tate to take five or six hundred dollars in a duck money bag, a distance of eight miles through the wilderness, not a house near the road. Jim rode his noted mount, Horace Greely, a little mule. Lewis L. Green said that the Little Hope Baptist church was organized under a brush arbor on Walnut Creek, and that the church practiced foot washing for awhile. We are sure that these old pioneers did not know the good seed that they were solving at that time but the song of the sower and the voice of the reaper will mingle together in glory by and by.

There were some good singers among the young men in those days. Ralph Haynes. Ed Hardin, J. V. Latham, J. Y. Latham and James Green Richards had a wonderful bass voice. Our hearts were made sad when in the autumn of 1885 four of our young men were called to their reward, and our church singing circle was broken. George A. Haynes, James G. Richards, Vance Richards, and Frank Yoast, and in June, 1886, Harry Walker, a member of our church was called home. Not many of the old settlers are left in that once prosperous community. Some of the old homes are standing in pastures while some of them have been burned. This dear old Macedonia church house was burned in the autumn of 1926, but the memory of the happy days we spent on that sacred spot will always remain with us. There is where many of us went to our first school. It was in that house that I taught my first school in the spring of the year and the valley was blue from buffalo clover blossoms. Many are the joys and sorrows that we have had there. But the many ties of love and friendship which were made there will mingle with our thoughts throughout the ceaseless cycles of eternity. And we are sure that many of those faithful ones who have gone on before, as well as those who still remain, will receive that blessed applaudit: "The fight you have fought Good service you have wrought. Well done, Faithful Ones, “Enter, in, for your work is done." When we think of these old pioneers and think what wonderful frontiersmen they were we cannot express deeply enough the respect and emotion which arises within us.

While Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Tate were not Baptists, they and their children attended the Macedonia church often and helped in a number of ways. They were members of the Methodist church and Christians. Mrs. Tate was a noble Christian mother and neighbor. Mr. Tate was a generous man and a staunch Mason. There was a Masonic lodge founded on his place as early as 1865. They were old time Southern hospitable people and the latch string always hung on the outside. They reared twelve children. John C. Tate, their oldest son was an old time trail driver.

My mother also reared twelve children and one day when I was at Mr. Tates they were talking something about paying poll tax, and I asked Mr. Tate, " Do parents have to pay poll tax on all their children?" Mr. Tate laughingly replied, "No, my child, if they did your father and I would soon go broke. "

I must admit that I was a number of years younger then than I am today. These old pioneer men did not know what day they would return home and find their wives and little ones murdered by the fiendish hands of the ever marauding Comanche, but they knew that they were in a good country and stayed with it and most of them became prosperous.

Mr. and Mrs. William Hardin united with the Macedonia Baptist church in July, 1884, on recommendation. Believe they must have belonged to the Comanche Creek Church when it dissolved.

"Uncle Billy" and "Aunt Mary" as they were lovingly called, lived in the Comanche Creek community. I believe that they lived on the place that was settled by George Hardin, the father of the Hardin brothers. Uncle Billy and Aunt Mary were well fitted for the strenuous times they had to live through. They lived out farther west, for awhile near the Saline, in Mason County, and endured great hardships. Joe Hardin also lived near them, and I am sure that I have been told that the Indians ripped up the feather beds and burned Joe Hardin's house. In the Comanche Creek country Uncle Billy and Aunt Mary lived in, a house by the aide of the road where they were friends to their fellow travelers and what Aunt Mary meant to the mothers of the community, God alone knows. Aunt Mary, though nearing the century mark, still lives in the old home with her youngest son, Lon Hardin. Her oldest son, J. C. Hardin, lives at Willow City, Texas. They reared nine honorable children, who will rise up and call them blessed Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Philips came from Fayette county to what must be Gillispie county now, near Hudson Mountain, not very far from Willow City. Mrs. Phillips was Mellisie Crownover, a sister of Rev. Arthur Crownover, who was a Methodist minister: Mrs. Phillips was a Methodist. I am sure that they moved from near Willow City on account of the Indians, as it was so sparsely settled. They settled on Pecan Creek, about one mile from where Macedonia church was afterwards built. They came to that country in an early day. Mr. Phillips was an old time soldier. I think that he fought in the Mexican War. And also, I think that he was in the fight with the Indians. At Plum Creek after they and robbed the store at Linnville down near Lockhart. If he was not in the fight he knew a lot about it, because he told me that the Indians had rubbed the store and gotten bolts of cloth and had tied it to their horses tails. Some squaws were along and they were riding along holding parasol's over themselves. And the chief had gotten what we called a Yankee overcoat, a big blue coat with large cape and trimmed in brass buttons. Mr. Chief had that on and it buttoned up the back, and I think it was in the summer time. Mr. and Mrs. Phillips our neighbors, and royal neighbors they were during those strenuous days of having to deal with the Indians. There was old Pecan Creek, which went in rather a circuitous route from our house to Mr. Phillips. It was densely timbered and one day when the Indians came to Mr. Phillips' barn and drove his horses away and Mr. Phillips and sons began shooting at them from the house. The Indians were shooting arrows at them and they were falling on the house and Mary Phillips, who was a plucky young lady, left the house and ran up the creek for about one mile and a half to tell their neighbor, John Backus, that the Indians were at their house. Mary Phillips married John Haynes and is still living in San Antonio. Those frontier women were as brave as the men and the wonderful deeds that they did. During the time that the Indians were up at his barn after the horses and he and his sons were shooting at them from the yard, Mrs. Phillips took her baby boy and went out into the field, which joined on to the yard, and tried to hide in the corn. I think the Indians got the horses and no one was hurt. Mr. Phillips told me that while he was planting corn in the spring that Mrs. Phillips told him that he was getting it too thick, but after she tried to hide in it that day from the Indians she told Mr. Phillips that "it seemed like the corn was mighty thin."

Mart Phillips was the baby boy that Mr. Phillips tried to hide in the corn. Mart told me, after he was a married man, that if he had not have been such a big baby the Indians would have gotten him that day, because his sisters tried to get hips to go up into the corn field at the back of the barn to get some roasting ears and he said he would not go. After the Indian left they went up to investigate to see where they had been and what they had done, and the Indians had been inside the field eating sugar cane, right where Mart would have had to have gone for the corn.

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Mrs. Phillips, although a Methodist, often attended the Macedonia Baptist church. She was lovingly called "Aunt Mellissie" by her friends and neighbors. And what her Christian life and influence meant to that community God only knows. She was often sent for in sickness and if there was a death the consoling and comforting words she would speak. In that part of the country there were no undertaking parlors and Aunt Mellissie, who nearly always wore black, would comp an d sit in the room where the corpse was and try to console the bereaved. She was a typical frontierswoman, and after she was old she said that she would enjoy moving West into a country where it was more of a frontier than the old Pecan Creek country was. Mr. Phillips passed away in November 1897. Mrs. Phillips went to her reward in January 1894. My father, George Washington Allen Latham, was born in Tishomingo county, Mississippi, Sept. 1, 1837. His parents were Dr. V. G. Latham and Nancy Wolverton Latham. They moved to Missouri when G. W. A. was a young boy, and settled in Pulaski county, but afterward moved to Maries county, to the town of Vienna. Dr. V. G. Latham's house was the second house built in Vienna, Mo. G. W. A. helped to build the first court house there. My mother, Sarah Jane Gibson, was born in Osage county, Mo., near Lyntown. Sept. 16, 1836, but was reared in Varies county. My parents were married October 7, 1858, and moved to Texas with their two young children, James V. and Annie, in 1861. They settled in Blanco county, and lived on Spring Creek for some time, then moved to the headwaters of Wright's Creek, where they were often molested by the Indians. One day while my father was away from home the Indians came into the pasture near the house. They threw a lariat on to the horse of a colored boy who Was living with my parents at that time and the horse came running to the house, mother knew that the Indians were near and while she was suffering from a severe attack of sick headache she donned some men's clothing, took a large rifle and walked around through the yard with the gun on her shoulder to make the Indians believe if they should come close enough to the house that they could see that there was one man on the place. We little children thought it was funny to see mother dressed up in men 's clothes, and we would laugh at her, but she said that she did not feel like laughing, as there was so much responsibility resting upon her. She had six small children. She would make us small children stay back by the beds. The negro boy was only thirteen years old. And if an Indian had come near, this plucky little Scotch-Irish frontier mother might have sent a bullet through him from her Enfield rifle, as she could shoot. The Indians stole a number of horses that day. One night, when the moon was shining bright, my father had just arrived home that afternoon from Columbus, Texas, and had brought sever - al head of horses with him. Uncle Ben Major Gibson was at our house and he and my father were taking turns guarding the horses. Sometime during the night they espied an Indian creeping up to a horse that had a rope on, but my father and uncle began to shoot at him. He jumped on his own horse and got away from there as fast as he could. My brother, J. V. Latham, said that he and sister Annie counted the Indians that night as they went over the hill and there were seventeen. These were the same Indians who had killed the Johnson women the day before and no doubt but what they had the little boy with them, they had captured the day before, when they killed the Johnson women and tortured Mrs. Friend, in Legion Valley, Llano county.

Ben Major Gibson It was in the summer of 1870 that my parents moved from Blanco county down on to Pecan Creek in Llano county, a distance of about twenty miles. My father never saw an Indian until the night he and Uncle Ben shot at them. Father rode in the woods most of the time while his brother-in-laws, Sanford and John Backues and Ben Gibson had fights with the Indians and killed them. My father would go with the scouts after the Indians, but just never happened up with them. He and J. P. Smith' were partners at one time. in the stock business and were prosperous. He was also a partner of Pleas Wimberley.

My parents reared twelve children on Pecan Creek there in Llano county. This is a picture of the house where they lived for twenty-four years and it stood like the house in the middle of the road and fed the rich and the poor. the lumber was hauled from Austin, 60 miles away in 1875. In old frontier days people raised large families, as the Hardins, Phillips, Tates, Harringtons, Lathams, Masses, Wimberleys, Wilsons and Crownovers. But why not rear large families? The woods were full of wild hogs and cattle and mavericks galore and the one that did not get the mavericks, well it was their own fault. And they did not have to feed their children out of paper bags and tin cans. The first canned tomatoes that. I ever saw Mrs. Samuel Tate put them up, and Mrs. Samuel Richards canned the first peaches that I ever saw in a can.

The noted Indian fight on Packsaddle Mountain in August, 1873, was the last Indian raid in Llano county. We children were taught to be vigilant and to ever be on the alert in regard to the Indians and if we saw horses or cattle running, unless we knew who was after them, we would know that Indians were near.

My mother, Mrs. George Latham, and her step sister-in-law, Mrs. John Backues, were neighbors and great friends. One Sunday Mrs. Backues, or Aunt Eliza as we called her, came to our house to spend the day. In the afternoon mother and Aunt Eliza thought they would take a walk around t h e place. The older children had gone up the creek, about three hundred yards away, to my Aunt Harriet Gibson's, and that left Cousin Mallie Backues and myself, who were only six and seven years old, to look after the younger children and the babies. We were doing nicely until we saw a red cow running toward the house. We grabbed those babies and little children and broke for Aunt Harriet's. Our mothers heard our screams and came running to us. They, too, had seen the cow and saw that she was running from the heelflies and were not frightened, but before we got to the creek with the children we saw Aunt Harriet and our older brother and sisters coming toward us. How happy we were! But I do think that Mallie and I did a real deserving deed to look out for the little children and not run off and leave them. However, I am sure that our 'mothers always taught us if there were Indians around to stay in the house, but we were too badly scared to think about that.

Wm. Cansler
Wm. Cansler and wife united with the Friendship Church in Pulaski County, Mo., in 1850. Mr. Cansler was elected clerk. We have no record of where they were granted letters from the Friendship Church in Missouri, but the first Lord's Day, in Sept. 1856, they united with the Little Hope Baptist church in what was called Burnet county then, but now it is Blanco county. They settled on the waters of Walnut, and afterwards moved to Round Mountain, Texas.

Rev. R. G. Stone
Rev. R. G. Stone and Celia Scott were married in the state of Missouri before the year of 1845. They came to Texas about 1853, in company with Rev. John Gibson and family. In April, 1853, were granted letters from Friendship Church in Missouri. Rev. Stone was deacon and clerk of the Little Hope Baptist church and was ordained to the ministry, the fourth Sabbath in February, 1872. He moved to Mason county that same year, near where Loyal Valley is located. He was pastor for the Squaw Creek church, and preached in Gillespie, Mason and Llano county for a number of years. He went to his reward about 1896. When I was quite young I learned that old song "There is Rest for the Weary," from him. He sang it one night at my father's house at cottage prayer meeting. His beloved wife, Celia, lived to be more than ninety years old. He has several children living. Mrs. Eliza Johnson, Alamogordo, N. M., Mrs. Carolyn Yoast., Las Cruces, N. M. Mrs. Matilda Kidd, of Loyal Valley, Texas, died last year.

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James Gibson
Rev. John Gibson was my great uncle, and James Gibson, Sr., was my grandfather. His first wife, who was my own grandmother, was Miss Margaret Morrow. She was thrown from a horse and died on a road in the state of Missouri, July 17, 1848, leaving eight little children. My mother, Sarah Jane, who was the oldest girl, was eleven years old, and my uncle, Ben Major Gibson, was the baby boy. Grandfather James Gibson, Sr., soon married Eliza Backues, who had three sons, John, Mike, and Sandford Backues. The old church book states that Mrs. Eliza Gibson joined the Friendship Church by letter in February, 1849, then in 1856, James Gibson Sr. and wife, Eliza, were dismissed by letter, and that is the year they came to Texas. James Gibson and wife, Eliza, only stayed iii Texas for six months. They got their letter from Little Hope Baptist church to go back to Missouri in August, 1856. Then in April, 1859, they came back to Texas and joined what was called Pecan Creek by letter.

The Hardins
G. G. Hardin and wife, Cynthia Hardin, who were early pioneers in that country, I think came from Tennessee, in an early day in company with the Sugarts and the late Curd Cox. A man by the name of Wm. White came with them. Aunt Cynthia died about 1873. Mr. Hardin settled in the Comanche Creek community. There was a Baptist church organized there in an early day and I think that Mr. and Mrs. Hardin belonged to that church until it disbanded. Mr. and Mrs. Hardin had six sons who were brave good men. Amos, William, Butler, Joe, Robert, and Wash. They were citizens of Llano and Blanco county and William, Butler, Joe, and Robert were all members of the Macedonia Baptist church with their father during the 80's. A daughter, Hasseltine, married Aaron Crownover, a son of Rev. Crownover, and his daughter, Mary, married Clay Oatman.

By L. W. Kemp
John Alexander Greer was born, July 18, 1802, at Shelbyville, Bedford County. Tennessee, the son of Thomas and C. L. Greer. Little is recorded of his early life but the fact that special dispensation was granted by the Grand Masonic Lodge of the State to allow him to join Harmony Lodge at Shelbyville, a deformed foot ordinarily disqualifying him from membership, testifies to the esteem in which he was held in the community. He rose to Master of the Lodge and later represented his Chapter in the Grand Lodge. On May 18, 1836, he was married by the Rev. Thomas Jordan Lambert to Adeline Minerva Orton, of Shelbyville, and soon afterwards the two moved to San Augustine County, Texas. At the resignation of Henry W. Augustine Nov. 24, 1837, as senator from the district composed of San Augustine County, Greer was elected to fill out his unexpired term, taking his seat, April 9, 1838, in the third session of the second congress. He was returned each succeeding session, serving longer than any other man in the congress of the Republic. On Nov. 21, 1842, he was elected president pro tem of the senate of the sixth congress, a position he was successfully elected to as long as the Republic lasted. On April 2, 1842, Governor James Pinckney Henderson appointed Greer mustering officer to inspect and muster into the service of the United States, to serve during the war with Mexico, a company of mounted riflemen, enrolled by Capt. Middleton T. Johnson in Shelby County. At a mass meeting of citizens held at the court house at San Augustine, July 3, 1847, he was nominated as a candidate for the office of Lieutenant Governor of the State. He agreed to enter the race and on Nov. 1, of that year was triumphantly elected, taking the oath of office Dec. 21. He was reelected Nov. 5, 1849, and continued in office until Dec. 22, 1851, having served through the administration of Governor George Thomas Wood and the first term of Peter Hansborough Bell. He sought to wrest the office of governor from Bell August 1, 1851 but was unsuccessful in the election held on that date.

Greer continued his activities in the Masonic field and in 1842 was elevated to the highest office of the order in the Republic, that of Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge. In 1851 he was Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the State.

Mrs. Greer died August 26, 1843, leaving a little daughter, Catherine Adeline, who had been born Feb. 2, 1838, shortly after her parents moved to Texas. The child was sent to Shelbyville to be raised by the mother and father of Senator Greer. In 1853 Catherine was married to Dr. W. Bond Dashiell at Shelbyville, and they moved at once to San Augustine.

John A. Greer died July 4, 1855, at his home on his farm a few miles from San Augustine and was buried on his
land. His remains were removed and, on Dec. 8, 1929, reinterred in the State Cemetery at Austin, the State of Texas
erecting a monument at his grave. Greer County, Texas, now in Oklahoma, was named in his honor.


For more early Llano County Texas History see:
How Llano Came Into its Own
Indian Days of Llano County
Masonic Lodge Uncovers History of Llano

Saturday, April 9, 2011

History of Freemasonry in Early Texas and the Frontier

Early History of Freemasonry in Texas

By Anson Jones

Before his death that noted Texas statesman, soldier and Mason. Anson Jones, first grand master of Masons in Texas, wrote a brief historical sketch of Freemasonry in Texas. The committee on Masonic service and education has had numerous requests from the press, and Masons over the state, for copies of this sketch. It is here given exactly as taken from the Grand Lodge records of Texas:

"As I took an active part in laying the first foundation of Freemasonry in this country, originated, and was personally present at, the first meeting ever held here, and cognizant of the earliest steps taken for the organization of a lodge, I place upon record the following facts, which may be of interest perhaps to the fraternity hereafter and would otherwise be lost, as I am now the only living of the five brethren who organized Holland Lodge.

"In the winter of 1834-5, five Master Masons, who bad made themselves known to--each other, consulted among themselves, and, after much deliberation, resolved to take measures to establish a lodge of their order in Texas. This resolution was not formed without a full appreciation of its consequences to the individuals concerned. Every movement in Texas at that time was watched with jealousy and distrust by the Mexican government and already had its spies and emissaries denounced some of our best citizens as factionists and disaffected persons; already were the future intended victims of despotic power being selected. It was well known that Freemasonry was particularly odious to the Catholic priesthood, whose influence in the country at that time was all-powerful. The, dangers, therefore, attendant upon an organization of Masons, at this time,, which was trying upon men's souls,' were neither few nor unimportant. But zeal for the beloved institution, a belief that it would be beneficial at this period when society seemed especially to need fraternal bonds to unite them together predominated; all fears of personal consequences were thrown aside, and the resolution to establish a lodge, as above mentioned, was adopted. The five brethren were John H. Wharton, Asa Brigham, James A E. Phelps, Alexander Russell and Anson: Jones, and they appointed. a time and place of meeting to concert measures to carry their resolution into effect. In the meantime another Master Mason came into their plans—Brother John P. Caldwell.

"The place of meeting was hack of the town, of Brazoria, near the place known as General John Austin 's, in a little grove of wild peach or laurel, ad which had been selected as a family burying ground by that distinguished soldier and citizen. The spot was secluded and out of the way of cowans and eavesdroppers, Ind they felt they were alone. Here, and under such circumstances, at 10 o'clock in the morning of a day in March„ 1835, was held the first formal Masonic meeting in Texas as connected with the establishment and continuance of Masonry in this country. The six brethren I have mentioned were all present there, and it was concluded to apply to the grand lodge of Louisiana, for a dispensation to form an open lodge; to be called Holland Lodge, in honor of the then Most Wonderful Grand Master of that body, J H Holland. The funds. were raised by contribution to defray the expenses of which each contributed as he felt willing and able. A petition was in due time drawn up and signed by them, which was forwarded to New Orleans, having been previously signed by another Master Mason, Brother W.D. C. Hall, and perhaps one or two more; but of this I do not recollect.

"The officers named in the petition were: For worshipful master, Anson ,Tones; senior warden, Asa Brigham; junior warden, J. P. Coldwell, who filled those offices respectively until the close of 1837. The dispensation was granted. and after some delay, in these brethren, and Holland Lodge No..36, under dispensation, was instituted and opened at Brazoria, on the 27th of December, 1835. Brother Phelps was chosen treasurer, and M. C. Patton secretary. The other officers I do not recall. The lodge held its meetings at Brazoria, in the second story of the old courthouse, which room was afterwards occupied by St. John's Lodge No. 5. About this time the difficulties with Mexico broke out into open hostilities, and our work was very much retarded by that circumstance, and by the members having to be absent in the service of the country. Still there were a few others from time to time introduced into the order, either by receiving the degrees or by affiliation. The lodge struggled until February, 1836, when I presided over its last meeting at Brazoria. I well recollect the night and the fact that Brother Fannin, who one month after became so celebrated for his misfortune and those of his unfortunate party at Goliad, acted as senior deacon. It seemed indeed that the gloom which prevailed in the lodge that night was a foreshadowing of its and their unhappy fate, which was to soon to overtake both.

"In March Brzoria was abandoned. Urrea soon after took possession of the place at the head of the detachment of the Mexican army, and the records, books, jewels and everything belonging to the lodge, were utterly destroyed by them, and our members were scattered in every direction. Brother Wharton, Phelps and myself joined the Texas troops on the Colorado, about the 18th of March. In. the meantime, the Grand Lodge of Louisiana had issued a charter for Holland Lode No. 36 and it was brought over to Texas by Brother John A. Allen. This, /together with some letters from the grand secretary, was handed to me by Brother Allen, on the prairie between Grece 's and San Jacinto, while we were on the march, and carried by me in my saddlebags to the encampment of the army on Buffalo Bayou, at Lynchburg. Had we been beaten here Santa Anna would have captured the charter of Holland Lodge at San Jacinto, as Urrea had the dispensation for it at Brazoria. Such an event however, was impossible. The charter and papers were taken safely to Brazoria; but, as the members had been lessened in numbers by death, or scattered in the army and elsewhere in the service of the country no attempt was made to revive the work of the lodge at that place. "In October, 1837, however, it was reopened by myself and others, at the city of Houston, having been in existence about two years.

"In the meantime two other lodges, with charters from the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, were established in Texas: Milarn, at Naeogdoches, and McFarlane, it San Augustine. Delegates from these, and from Holland lodge met in convention at Houston in the winter of 1837-38, and the Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas was formed. By advice and direction of this body, the three subordinate lodges transferred their allegiance from Louisiana, and received others from Texas; and Holland Lodge No. 36, under the former, became Holland Lodge No. 1, under the Grand Lodge of the Lone Star republic. By this course, the causes of many difficulties which have afflicted many of the Grand Lodges of the United States were considered and obviated in the formation of the Grand Lodge of Texas.

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"Holland Lodge No. 36 was the only one established in Texas prior to the revolution which separated her from Mexico.

"Such is a brief but faithful sketch of the first establishment of Freemasonry in Texas. It was founded like our political institutions, amid the stern, concomitants of adversity and war, but its foundations were laid broad and deep; and upon them has been raised a superstructure of strength and beauty symmetrical in its proportions and vast in its dimensions, which I trust will rise usque ad astra and continue as a beacon to guide and cheer worthy Masons on their journey of life, and against which the wasting storms of time shall beat in vain, and the restless waves of persecution cast themselves to destruction in angry Foam; while the presiding genius of the institution from its lofty walls shall ever continue to exclaim in emphatic tones, to be heard by all—east, west, north and south.

"Procul! O Procul! est profani!” Tu clue invade viam.” Far hence, ye profane! Welcome, ye initiated, to these glorious courts; tread ye them aright!"

We have LOTS of information on early history of Freemasonry in Texas...
Other articles (by no means exhaustive) include:
Freemasonry on the Frontier
A Builder of Texas
Old Homestead Lodge

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pioneer Days in Gillespie County, Texas

The Founding of Fredricksburg

J. Marvin Hunter

Last month's article on German colonization in Texas told of the founding of New Braunfels by Prince Solms. Braunfels, and the departure of Prince Solms, after a short, but hectic stay in Texas. Still quoting from Moritz Tiling's splendid book, "The German Element in Texas," we now give the story of the founding of Fredericksburg.

Prince Solms was in such haste to leave New Braunfels that he did not await the arrival of his successor, Baron Ottfried, Hans von Meusebach, who had been appointed commissioner general for the Adelsverein on February 24, 1845. When von Meusebach arrived he soon saw that the finances of the association were in a hopeless condition. The company's treasurer, being ordered to make out a complete statement of all assets, credits and obligations of the Adelsverein in Texas, could not comply with the order. He explained to Meusebach that the prince, the treasurer, the doctor, the engineer and other officials had issued orders, due bills, drafts and notes promiscuously, and that no proper account of them had been kept in the company's books. Meusebach, a man of great energy, at once decided to follow Prince Solms to Galveston, and obtain from him the desired information as to the financial standing of the Verein in Texas. Of this meeting Meusbach wrote:

"I found Prince Solms there with an attachment against him, taken out by some uneasy creditor of the company. I lifted the attachment by paying the claim out of my credit of $10,000 under the condition that he would urge the directorate in Europe to send immediately, and, without waiting for a report, a credit twice as much as I had along, because the items of indebtedness picked up by me on the road from Carlsshafen (better known as Indianola) to New Braunfels and from there to Galveston showed the association being in debt to that amount. I told him that the welfare of the immigrants depended for the present on the means of the company that had promised to support them in provisions until they could raise a crop and to furnish them with everything necessary to make a crop either for pay or on credit. I have no doubt that the prince did notify the directory in Europe according to promise. But that committee probably had at that time no more available funds on hand. Having failed to get from the prince in Galveston any reliable information in regard to the financial operations of the company and its debts and having been again referred to the treasurer at New Braunfels, who had declared that he could not make a full statement, I had to go to work at it myself. I restored order in the financial department and by close management inspired the creditors with confidence and would have kept both order and confidence but for some new stupendous blunder on the part of the directory in Europe in the shipment of the emigrants in the fall of 1845. In August, 1854, I had sent a complete statement of all amounts, credits and debits of the company in Texas showing that a. debt of $19,460.02 was left by my predecessor in office, besides using up my own credit of $10,000 for provisions for the immigrants at New Braunfels. By the first of November this debt had increased to $24,000 and I requested the directorate in Europe to send immediately this amount as a separate fund irrespective of the amounts necessary for the reception of the new immigrants to be shipped in the fall of 1845, and for further operations.

Tiling says : If the Adelsverein had been true to its public declarations and its pledge it would have remitted the amount asked for, but von Meusebach's urgent request was never complied with. In fact, the association was practically bankrupt there and then and it was only due to the great activity of Meusebach and his astonishing resourcefulness that the sinking ship was kept afloat for some time longer.


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Von Meusebach knew that he had to expect several thousand new immigrants by November of that year and that it was absolutely necessary to establish another station nearer the land grant, if the colony should ever reach it. Therefore, with a small exploring party, he left New Braunfels in the latter part of August, advancing in a northwesterly direction towards the Llano River. About 75 miles from New Braunfels he found the desired location near the banks of the Pedernales river, it being about two-thirds of the distance to the nearest boundary line of the grant. There he bought 10,000 acres of arable land, well watered and timbered, on credit, equipped and sent out a surveying party of 25 men, led by Lieutenant Bene, in December and had a wagon road established from New Braunfels to the new settlement. The whole tract was laid out in 10-acre lots and distributed among immigrants of 1845 and 1846 as preliminary homesteads. This was the beginning of Fredericksburg, today the county seat of Gillespie county, and one of the most flourishing German settlements in Texas. When von Meusebach had left Europe for Texas at the end of February, 1845, he had been informed that the Adelsverein intended to send a considerable number of emigrants to Texas in the fall. And they came. When he returned from his exploring expedition to New Braunfels at the end of October, he found letters awaiting him with the information that 4,000 emigrants were on their way to Texas and that a credit to the amount of $24,000 had been opened for him with a banker in New Orleans, in other words a credit of $6 for each emigrant. For this pittance the emigrants had to be transported from Galveston to the mainland, thence to New Braunfels (later to Fredericksburg), and given provisions until they made their first crop. That the association 's debt in Texas at that time was already more than the new credit opened for Meusebach, the directors in Mainz seemed to have forgotten, or held it beneath their dignity to notice, or were under the impression that, having paid their debt of $24,000 with the amount sent to New Orleans, Meusebach would enjoy an unlimited credit.

This sending of 4,000 immigrants in the fall and winter of 1845 probably was the most inexcusable of the many blunders of the Adelsverein. Through Prince Solms, who had returned t o Germany in August, 1845, Count Cawtell was made fully aware of the precarious condition of the colonists who had come to Texas in December, 1844, and the impossibility of reaching the grant lands for some time. Despite this undisputable fact, he sent over 4,000 more immigrants who had to be housed and supported for an indefinite period. The proper policy would have been to send 'the immigrants in small numbers, to buy from ten to 20,000 acres of lands every 30 miles apart and there establish settlements as relay stations, and thus advance gradually from the coast to the proposed colony in the Fisher and Miller grant. As it was, there were only the two settlements, New Braunfels and Fredericksburg, on the entire distance of more than 250 miles from the coast to the grant, New Braunfels being 150 miles from Indianola, and Fredericksburg 75 miles further, with no intermediate resting places.

Robert Penniger's "Golden Jubilee Edition" for the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Fredericksburg (May, 1896), contains a detailed and interesting account of the founding of this German colony in the western wilderness of Texas, from which we quote the following: "In the middle of December, 1845, Commissioner General von Meusebach sent out fro m New Braunfels an expedition of 36 men under the command of Lieutenant and Surveyor Bene, with instructions to establish a wagon road from New Braunfels to the north banks of the Pedernales, where he had bought land for a new settlement . This expedition was well equipped with wagons, provisions, weapons, instruments an d tools, and besides Lieutenant Bene, two engineers, Gross and Murcheson , accompanied it . They arrived at their point of destination after a march of three weeks, and at once began the construction of a block house, which was only partly finished, when they were forced to return to New Braunfels for lack of supplies .

On April 24, 1846, the first body of colonists started for the new settlement in 20 ox-carts and some Mexican two-wheeled vehicles, amid the cheers of their countrymen who remained at New Braunfels . When they approached the Pedernales they were met by a number of Indians from the tribe of the Delawares, who, fortunately, were friendly disposed and the colonists passed the Indian camp unmolested. Friday, May 8, the weary immigrants reached the place where the surveying party had begun the erection of the first house in the new colony in an opening of the virgin forest of gigantic trees and dense coppice. The new settlement named Fredericksburg, in honor of Prince Frederick of Prussia, a member of the Adelsverein, was platted by Surveyor Wilke, the fearless pioneers began the construction of their new homes, their number being constantly increased by the arrival of new immigrants, and soon Fredericksburg had 1,000 busy and industrious inhabitants. Through gifts and considerate treatment they succeeded in establishing and maintaining friendly relations with the Indians, who were numerous, and, like New Braunfels, Fredericksburg suffered very little from Indian depredations. With hardly any funds on hand whatever and with thousands of immigrants to be taken care of on their way to Texas, von Meusebach was not in an enviable position. A man with less sense of duty would have resigned at once, while a man with less energy and resourcefulness than Meusebach would have been in a hopeless embarrassment. He knew that the immigrants trusted the Adelsverein implicitly and now he bent all his energies to take care of the coming flood of immigrants in the best manner possible . He went to Galveston to see after their disembarkation and further transportation, first to Carlshafen (Indianola.), and thence to New Braunfels.

From October, 1845, to April, 1846, there arrived at Galveston 5,247 immigrants in 36 ships, 24 of which came from Bremen and 12 from Antwerp . They all, after disembarking, had to be brought by small schooners to Lavaca Bav, and, as most of the immigrants had very heavy and often bulky baggage, and provisions for four months had also to be transferred from the vessels to Carlshafen, this was quite a difficult task, but nothing in comparison with the strenuous exertions to be made for the transportation from Indianola to New Braunfels . Through Meusebach's efforts the immigrants were brought from Galveston to Indianola as speedily as possible and housed in tents and barracks, while he was searching the country for teams to transport the several thousand people to New Branufels and Fredericksburg. After many unsuccessful efforts he finally made a contract with Torrey Brothers of Houston, in March, 1846, for the transportation of the immigrants from Indianola to New Braunfels, who in the meantime had been subjected to great sufferings and diseases. The winter of 1845-46 in Texas unfortunately was exceedingly severe and wet, rain falling almost continuously for months . Many of the immigrants being badly housed and poorly nourished, contracted fever and several hundred of them died at Indianola during the winter. The suffering was intense and everybody hailed with joy the announcement made in March that relief could be expected daily and that the march to the colony would soon begin. Shortly after that 100 teams arrived and the first wagon train started for the interior . Then the war between the United States and Mexico broke out (May, 1846), the American commanders utilizing all available horses in Texas; the United States government paid more for teams than Meusebach could afford, Torrey & Co. repudiated their contract, and the immigrants were left to their own resources. Five hundred enlisted with the American army, while the others started on the road, trying to reach New Braunfels the best way they could . This proved disastrous to many, more than 200 perishing on the way from exposure, hunger and exhaustion; the bleached bones of the dead everywhere marked the road of death the unfortunate people had taken, while those who arrived at New Braunfels and later at Fredericksburg carried with them germs of disease that soon developed into a frightful epidemic, in which more than 1,000 died.

The conditions at New Braunfels and Fredericksburg soon became exasperating. Most of the colonists were dissatisfied and restless, because they felt that they were imposed upon by the association, and when the deadly disease began to spread and the stipulated daily rations of the "Verein” were no longer distributed regularly, the affairs bordered almost on anarchy. Von Meusebach was threatened with bodily harm and he had to employ all his powers of persuasiveness to such an extent that he had been forced to hypothecate his store with all its contents . Then Meusebach resorted to the last expediency—publicity. He advised Klaener to send a correct report of the miserable conditions as they actually existed, to some reputed newspaper in Germany, requesting publication of the article. Klaener followed Meusebach's advice and sent a full statement of the affairs of the Adelsverein in Texas to Mayor Schmidt of Bremen, requesting publication. This was done and had the desired effect. Several of the government took notice of the accusations made in the article and demanded an explanation from the directorate of the Adelsverein, which resulted in the opening of a credit of $60,000 to von Meusebach . Count Casten was very indignant over the action taken by his agent, Klaener, but the tenseness of the situation was relieved. (In a future article we will give an account of the remarkable hand unbroken treaty von Meusebach made with the Indians on the San Saba rive r in 1847, a treaty which insured the security of the colonists at Fredericksburg.)

We have LOTS of information on early Fredricksburg, Texas...
Other articles (by no means exhaustive) include:
An Inn of Frontier Days
Pioneer Life in Fredricksburg
A Bakery of Pioneer Days